Casa Borinquen by Brian Dominguez in West Palm Beach Restaurant Review

West Palm Beach is not exactly a hotbed of Puerto Rican food. For the most part, those who love mofongo, tostones, and sorullitos in the city have been grabbing their favorite dishes de la isla de encanto from small cafés and food trucks. This is why chef Brian Domínguez, owner of Casa Borinquen in Hollywood, is opening a second location in the city.

“We want to take Puerto Rican fare to a new culinary level in West Palm Beach,” Domínguez says. “There were many Latinos traveling to Hollywood to taste our food, and when we found this location [on North Haverhill Road], only a short distance from the Rapids Water Park and the Fitteam Ball Park, we saw great potential in feeding their employees, patrons, and all the locals interested in trying new flavors.”

Domínguez, a Puerto Rican native whose father ran restaurants in on the island, first opened Casa Borinquen in 2002, where its combination of bueno, bonito, y barato quickly made it a must-visit.

The restaurant’s West Palm Beach location will occupy 4,000 square feet and feature seating for 150 guests, along with a full bar and an area for live music. A mural of photographs, featuring Puerto Rican personalities such as Roberto Clemente, Benicio del Toro, and Hector Lavoe, will serve as the restaurant’s centerpiece, complementing its casual and colorful decor.

The menu is made from family recipes that are a complex mix of French, African, and Spanish flavors brought together with strong seasoning. Domínguez himself runs the kitchen, where the pernil (pork shoulder) is cooked for five hours, the conch is left to marinate for a whole day, and everything else is made from scratch, including appetizers such as eight versions of tostones ($6.95), deep-fried pork chunks ($7.95), sweet corn fritters ($5.95), and alcapurrias, made here with fresh yucca, taro roots and plantain and stuffed with meat, crab or veggies ($3).

Casa Borinquen West Palm Beach.

Casa Borinquen West Palm Beach.

Casa Borinquen

Entrée highlights are the chuleta can-can, made with cuts of pork rib, loin, and belly ($18.95), conch salad vinaigrette cooked in creole sauce and served with an aranita basket that includes crispy shredded plantains ($17.95), and mar y tierra, a family-style plate with skirt steak, shrimp, octopus, conch, fried pork chunks, fried chicken chunks, tostones, and mofongo ($99.95).

Casa Borinquen’s list of offerings also feature sandwiches such as the jibarito burger, made with flattened fried green plantains instead of bread ($11.95); Puerto Rico’s version of gumbo, asopao, made with peas ($13.95), chicken ($11.95) or shrimp ($14.95); and the classic mofongo relleno, a mash of green plantain with pork skin, garlic, oil and seasoning topped with options like deep-fried chicken ($9.95), pork ($11.95), and fish chunks ($15.95). As for beverages, guests will be able to sip on Puerto Rican soft drinks like Malta Indía, Coco Rico, and Piña Buena for $2.25.

Domínguez, who runs his operations together with his wife Marianne, says he’s scouring cities like Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, West Miramar, and Miami Lakes for future locations. “Over the next two years, we want to offer our food as far as Orlando.”

Casa Borinquen. 3897 N. Haverhill Rd., West Palm Beach; 561-223-3955; Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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